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The Guardian

North Korea resumes missile testing

USA Today

Lucas Gonzalez, News Editor

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On Tuesday, Nov. 28, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the Sea of Japan. It landed west of the northern end of the island of Honshu. This test came after a nearly two-month pause on any kind of display of North Korea’s missile capabilities.

The missile, Hwasong-15, achieved a 4,500-km altitude and distance of 960-km. The measurements indicate that it flew higher and farther than any previous missile launched from the country.

Experts have expressed that this most recent test demonstrates the increasing sophistication of North Korea’s missile program, stating that the newest missile has the potential to reach anywhere in the continental U.S, according to a report by The New York Times.

The regime announced on Wednesday, Nov. 29 that Hwasong-15 has the ability to reach anywhere in the entire world.

However, some factors regarding the development of North Korea’s missiles remain unclear. At this point, it has not been confirmed that they could mount and deliver a nuclear warhead and have the missile survive upon re-entry into the atmosphere.

Achieving this is not an easy task, according to Liam Anderson, professor of political science at Wright State. However, “If [North Korea] has the capability to solve the ICBM problem, it is only a matter of time,” Anderson said. 

U.S. intel is very limited when it comes to North Korea. The engine used in the latest launch was possibly Ukrainian, according to Anderson. “We can estimate North Korea’s progress based on its indigenous capabilities, but these estimates are not going to accurate if/when North Korea gets tech or help from another country,” he said.

This test was carried out shortly after President Trump put North Korea back on a list of state-sponsors of terrorism, according to The Times.

Following the launch, the United Nations (UN) Security Council held an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has stated that although the U.S. does not want war, if North Korea engages with us, they will be “totally destroyed.”

Although this type of language is not standard within the United Nations, it is not surprising given North Korea’s multiple violations of UN sanctions. Despite the rhetoric, nothing so far has indicated that we are going to war, according to Laura Luehrrman, professor and director of master of international and comparative politics program.

In a Tuesday statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that, “diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now,” according to The Washington Post.

Trump has urged president Xi of China to “use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of de-nuclearization,” said Luehrrman.

The involvement of China is a necessity for resolving the issue of North Korea, but China alone cannot fix the problem, according to Luehrrman.

 

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North Korea resumes missile testing